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3 Zines by Adam Gnade

Reviewed by Chris Auman

The Heat and the Hot Earth

Adam Gnade

[Pioneers Press]

Adam Gnade returns with a new novella—a newvella, if you will. The Heat and the Hot Earth continues the story of the aimless youth Gnade established with, Hey, Hey Lonesome. If you've read this previous title, you will recognize a few names (Tyler, Ted Boone, Joey Carr) and be introduced to new ones. At least they were new to me, they may have made previous appearances as Gnade often revisits characters in his work. The chapters of The Heat and the Hot Earth are presented in the forms of letters, dreams and blog posts, and from the points of view of the different characters. New or old, it is purported that Gnade will, at some future point in time, unite these characters, situations and locations and tie them all together into one tight knot. Or not. [adamgnade.com]

The DIY Guide to Fighting the Big Motherfucking Sad

The DIY Guide to Fighting the Big Motherfucking Sad

Adam Gnade

[Pioneers Press]

Writer Adam Gnade offers us a guide for how he deals with what he calls "The Big Motherfucking Sad" aka depression.

As soon as I opened up Adam's fight guide, I instantly recognized something in myself. In the book's introduction, Adam tells us that he dreams of dissecting his life—giving us a list of how tired or sick he felt on a certain day, what foods he ate and how he felt when he got up in the morning—all in an effort to detect the patterns of his life. Three years ago, I started to keep a journal for these very same reasons. I was inspired at the time by Jesse Reklaw's daily comics journal, Ten Thousand Things to Do. I kept a daily record of what I ate, drank, the basics of what went down that particular day and what my mood was (good, bad, pissed, bummed). I wanted to see if I could recognize patterns. Was I depressed because I drank too much that particular week or did I drink because I was depressed? Did slipping into a lazy junk food diet cause my depression or did I turn to these comfort foods as a result of it? I am not someone who suffers from clinical depression, but I get bummed out like everyone else and if being in mental pain is comparable to being in physical pain, then it's important to know the cause of the affliction so that it can be corrected.

Gnade doesn't deal with the root causes of the "Big Motherfucking Sad," recognizing that they vary by individual, but he does offer tips to school depression's ass. He puts forth suggestions (commands, really) on how to not let the buggers get you down. There's a "Guide to Not Freaking Out All the Time," advice on how to deal with the critics and the haters and other assorted maxims you can use to pump yourself up when you're feeling deflated. That's the purpose of this book, which undoubtedly provided the same comfort to its author.

This zine is not a cure-all for anything, it's just a tool you can use to help you continue to kick ass on a daily basis. A few months ago I stopped keeping my daily journal. Not out of laziness, but after three years I became pretty adept at recognizing the patterns I had been recording. When you know what's coming you can prepare yourself for it. So, if you suffer from chronic depression, seasonal depression or stress-related sadness, you would do well to have this pocket-sized pep talk close by. Don't let it creep up on you and don't let the bastards get you down. [adamgnade.com]

Hey Hey Lonesome Adam Gnade

Hey Hey Lonesome

Adam Gnade

[Pioneers Press]

This novella, by author and musician Adam Gnade, is intended to introduce readers to the characters that will appear in Adam’s forthcoming novel. It's a prequel, if you will, that follows the characters around San Diego in the hours leading up to a party where all of their paths will cross. It is at this point that the novel (finished but as yet unpublished) will begin.

Hey Hey Lonesome is a part of a series of fiction and music that loosely ties together various characters through songs and stories. The work is intended to convey a picture of contemporary American life the way American Graffiti portrayed life in the early 60s or more recently Dazed and Confused in the mid 70s. Similarly, the characters in Hey Hey Lonesome are young, shiftless, in or out of love, bored, under the influence, or all of the above. Adam's prose style even reads like a script at times. The viewpoints of the characters are first person and we hear their inner monologues, but the scenes and action are described like stage directions, sometimes parenthetically. It is unclear at this point how the characters' lives will intersect and how they will interact with each other, but the scene has been set for the full story to begin. Stay tuned. [adamgnade.com]

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